Brendon Wilson rides a hot final round to the Gasparilla Invitational title
Brendon Wilson (R) with senior champ Mike Finster (Gasparilla photo)
Brendon Wilson (R) with senior champ Mike Finster (Gasparilla photo)

Brendon Wilson played nearly flawless golf on Saturday to win the Gasparilla Invitational at Palma Ceia Golf Club in Tampa, Fla.

Beginning the day two back of 36-hole leader Mark Dull, the Ringgold, Ga. resident ripped off four consecutive birdies out of the gates on holes 2, 3, 4 and 5 en route to a final round of 6-under 64. At 10-under 200, Wilson earned a three-stroke victory over Nick Maccario (-7; 203) and was six clear of third-place finishers Jonathan Bale and Blanton Flores, who finished at 4-under 206.

His 10-under score also matched the Gasparilla Invitational tournament record set last year by Logan Blondell.

After making the turn in 4-under, Wilson didn't take his foot off the accelerator on his inward nine as he birdied three of his last four holes to post the lowest round of the day by four shots.

While Wilson came out on fire, Dull went in the opposite direction. After rounds of 65-69, the 2018 Gasparilla champion made three of his seven bogeys on the day over the first nine holes and finished with a 4-over 74.

Wilson closed his 2022 season with a wire-to-wire victory at the Tennessee Mid-Amateur in Nashville with a 12-under score of 204, which was good for a two-stroke win over Seth Brandon.


St. Petersburg resident Mike Finster, the 2019 Gasparilla champion, outlasted some of the top senior players in the nation to capture a one-stroke victory in the senior division. Finster, who entered the final round tied with Jeff Knox at 1-over par, shot a 4-over 74 which was good for a one-stroke win over Knox, 2019 U.S. Senior Amateur champion Bob Royak and AmateurGolf.com's 2022 Super Senior Player of the Year Doug Hanzel.

Finster survived a double bogey on his third hole and a triple on the 10th to play steady golf down the stretch, playing his final six holes at 1-under par to secure the title.

The win was Finster's second in as many months, as he stayed close to home to capture the Golfweek Senior Player of the Year Classic in wire-to-wire fashion at the Tampa Palms Golf and Country Club in January.


Joe Neuheisel, son of football coach and commentator Rick Neuheisel, shot the round of the tournament -- a 62 in the first round, but it can be hard to follow a round like that. He posted 75 in the second round and closed with a 72 to finish T10 at 1-under.

Andy Butler of Philadelphia had the most interesting scorecard we've ever seen over two rounds. On the first day, he shot 80 with a 12 on the par-5 third hole. Today, he only chopped 8-shots off that hole by seeking pirate's revenge with a birdie. And if that wasn't enough, he aced the following hole on his way to a 2-under 68. Unfortunately, there was no adjusting that 12, and he missed the 36-hole cut of 145 by three.

Temperatures in the 80's were warm, even by Florida standards. There probably wasn't a better place to play golf in the U.S., and the scores reflected that.

Results: Gasparilla Invitational
1GABrendon WilsonRinggold, GA40069-67-64=200
2MANick MaccarioWaltham, MA30065-70-68=203
T3WalesJonathan BaleWales20064-73-69=206
T3FLBlanton FarmerBradenton, FL20065-70-71=206
T5LADerek BusbyRuston, LA20069-70-69=208

View full results for Gasparilla Invitational

ABOUT THE Gasparilla Invitational

54-hole individual stroke play championship with a cut after 36 holes to the low 60 and ties. Good mix of Florida players and national competitors looking for an early season tune up. Played on a traditional, tree lined golf course that isn't very long but has small, undulating greens.

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